So, what happened on the Wednesday of Holy Week or what we call “Holy Wednesday?” According to the daily lectionary reading from John's gospel, it could have been these words spoken by Jesus:
“Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say — ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die. The crowd answered him, “We have heard from the law that the Messiah remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?” Jesus said to them, “The light is with you for a little longer. Walk while you have the light, so that the darkness may not overtake you. If you walk in the darkness, you do not know where you are going. While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of light.” After Jesus had said this, he departed and hid from them.
– John 12:27-36, NIV
I wonder why the voice that came from heaven was understood by some to be thunder, but others to be an angel speaking to Jesus? Presbyterian author and pastor Frederick Buechner has suggested on more than one occasion that much of the Christian faith is ambiguous enough to suggest more than one explanation for events like the one above. As in this case, it may seem like only thunder to some, while to others it sounds like an angel speaking. Faith really does require us to take
"a step" - the outcome of which we are not 100% sure. Faith is always an act of trust, but God promises to always be trustworthy!